Dead Panic

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: August 18th, 2009

Sean Maher has quit his day job at the age of 35 to make indie games. Dead Panic is his first release — a strategy game where you must position your troops to defend against oncoming hordes of zombies. You can find screens of the game and more information in his post on the forums. It’s never too late to go indie, I say!

App Store link is here.

  • superflat

    Being in the same age bracket, I don’t think 35 is that old hehe. At least I don’t feel it yet…

    Anyway, always great to read an inspiring story like this – gives me hope!

  • Alive

    Nice story, but the game doesn’t really look that fun/interesting :/

  • Pyabo

    35 is the new 25. :|

  • sqrrl

    I agree with Alive, the music made the video sound so EXTREME, but then I saw the gameplay and the ‘features’ and I was like, Meh

  • geist

    why is indie always associated with losing your job? this is the third time I’ve heard this whole “someone quit their job, now they’re indie” crap.

    i guess me going to work and making money compromises my ability to make games

  • Alive

    Or people just get fired, see a indie game and go ” God that is a good way to make money, let me do it!”

  • geist

    it’s not a really that stable of way to make income.

    i personally have no problem going to work and having time to make games on the side. it never makes sense to me when i hear that someone quit their job “to go indie.” it makes no sense at all.

  • TeamQuiggan

    There is something to be said when your creative endeavors are able to put food on your table.

  • geist

    I think you mean “if” they put food on your table.

  • Anthony Flack

    I’ve noticed that people have started to insinuate that guys my age are old. I blame the kids.

  • smasher

    Hi, Sean here.

    I’m not indie because I quit my job, I’m indie because I made my game outside the studio system, and without outside financing. I have no illusions about getting rich – if that’s what I wanted I would have stayed at my corporate job. I just want to do what I enjoy every day.

    I’d be more annoyed by an attitude of “it’s okay for it to look like crap because it’s Indie” or “it’s okay that it’s boring / not fun”. No one should use “Indie” as an excuse for putting out a bad game – I’d hate to see “Indie” become a synonym for “shitty.” You guys are a tough audience, and I appreciate that.

  • geist

    Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not criticizing you, but rather this website and general attitude from other people about what indie is supposed to be. Perhaps it was wrong for me to take this article and make it an example.

  • geist

    I may as well comment on the game itself then. It looks like a pretty cool concept, the only thing that I don’t really like is how choppy and slow the animation and framerate looks. But then again, maybe this is yet another limitation of the iPhone, I have no idea. I don’t make games for the iPhone.

  • Rostiger

    Of course it makes sense. Not everyone has the time or patience to work on a commercial indie title next to working regularly, especially when it’s a job where you have to sit in front of a computer all day.
    It’s basically a transition from doing something as a hobby to doing it full time and trying to live off it.
    However, if you, geist, have released commercial titles that prove otherwise I will gladly revise my opinion.

    Sean, I admire your courage to go fully indie and I really wish the best of luck to you. Unfortunately I don’t own an iPhone so I can’t actually try your game, but I imagine that some people might be put off by the seemingly slow pace of the gameplay, while the trailer promises a lot of fast action.
    Maybe you could also show off some of the more strategically interesting parts of the game, because right now it’s not quite clear to me how those aspects actually impact the gameplay.

    Besides that, I think the game looks farely solid, but it’s hard to tell without trying it. It would interest me enough to buy it though and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there!

  • ShawnF

    Yeah, I think that trailer could use a lot of work. Opening with menu navigation then showing some very slow paced battles isn’t the way to win people over.

    But apart from presentation, what I’d say makes the most sense to focus on is what separates your game from other tower defense games. It’s a pretty saturated genre on the iphone and some of your competitors are very high profile, so you’re going to have to work hard to sell yourself here.

  • Matzerath

    I respect anyone who quits their day job to make indie games. It’s sheer madness, but admirable – the equivalent of saying ‘I’m quitting my job and starting an indie BAND!’

  • TeamQuiggan


    If it doesn’t put food on your table, then there isn’t anything to be said.

  • Paul Eres

    “i guess me going to work and making money compromises my ability to make games”

    well, it at least is harder to make indie games if you work a full time job too. i mean, if you’re a full time indie, you can put 8 hours a day into your game, every day, if you want to. if you work at a job, you can put 2-3 hours a day max into your game. and often far less, since jobs are tiring.

  • Chris Whitman

    When I have worked full-time, especially doing dev work, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is come home and do more coding in my spare time.

    No one has ever said you *must* quit your job to go indie, but I can see why people do it. I think you’re making it out to be a bigger deal than it is.

  • judgespear

    Sounds like a good way to ruin your life, just like Marc Griffin did when he decided to invent a game called Bulletball.

  • BMcC

    **@Anthony:** Aww, that’s not what I mean. :)

    He actually brought it up. But still, it’s gotta be harder to leave an established career at 35 than to “go indie” from mom’s basement!

  • thebeefiest

    bulletball will be the next big thing just you wait and see

  • thebeefiest

    bulletball will be the next big thing just you wait and see

  • judgespear
  • judgespear

    please, don’t be this guy.

  • l’elk!

    this guy must really like commandos 3. i think he even used the gun sound effects.

  • mw

    So his bulletball game is lame and you can play it with any ball and table in existence.. but he didn’t give up

  • smasher

    I like this discussion. Clearly bulletball guy left his day job too soon; or rather he should not have left at all. But you can’t argue that Steve Wozniak should have stayed at HP making calculators.

    How can you tell if you’re a Marc Griffin or you’re a Steve Wozniak? Or can you not tell beforehand, only in hindsight?

  • judgespear

    I dunno, but I personally would never take my chances. I’d hate to become the Bulletball guy, or even worse.

  • judgespear

    Besides, I have plenty of time to work on my games and still have a part time job.

  • Eclipse

    @geist: try to do a commercial indie game while having a day job

  • Anthony Flack

    That BulletBall game is pretty awesome. It’s given me an idea for an invention, too. It a device to help you resolve dilemmas.

    I don’t want to give out too many details yet, but the WIP title I have for it is the “Coin Decider”.